The Central Statistics Office and FÃS estimate that overall employment in the construction sector has halved since peak employment during the boom. In niche areas of the sector the crash has been much harder and it is thought that more than half of all architects are out of work. But according to the new boss at the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, architects have their own answer to the jobs crisis.
The new president of the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, Paul Keogh, says that the construction sector is pretty tough at the moment – not just for architects, but for engineers and surveyors. He says that about 50% are unemployed while a lot more are under-employed. He says the real issue is that there is no investment going into the infrastructure and the environment. He says that building programmes are falling behind in such areas as the country’s health authorities, schools, public buildings and fire stations.
Mr Keogh says the RIAI’s real concern is that if the Government does nothing about this lack of spending, it will place the country at a huge competitive disadvantage in the years ahead. He says proposals which the Government could look at is the re-investment of about €70 billion currently invested in foreign equities being brought back to Ireland to be used to invest in the country’s infrastructure.